Business leader Bill Scott has revealed that he was forced to self-isolate this week after showing symptoms of the Coronavirus.
Wilton Engineering boss Bill has told Tees Business that he came down with a sore throat and a bad cough last weekend after travelling.
But the fitness enthusiast already feels better – and is planning his regular walks on the Cleveland Hills this weekend
Bill said: “I’ve been self-isolating all week with the symptoms. I got home from travelling – I’d been to London, whizzing around on Tubes and traveling home before flying to Dublin on business. I got home and when I woke up the next day I had a sore throat and a really bad cough.
“My temperature was OK, it peaked a couple of times, but now I feel fine – I’m going walking on the Cleveland Hills this weekend. I was meant to be doing a 26-mile survival walk this weekend, but that’s been postponed.”
Bill says most of the office staff at Wilton have been working from home this week, but his shop floor workers have still operating at the firm’s Port Clarence facility.
He said: “Everyone is saying we’re going to go into a so-called lockdown, but what will actually happen is that people will still be able to drive to work – if they can’t work from home – to make sure the wheels of industry keep turning.
“Our office staff are working from home. Finance, admin, the business development guys – they can all work on laptops and all stay in touch with each other on mobiles.
“But the lads on our shop floor can’t do the welding they need to do on their drives. They’re in, but we’ve made provisions so there’s plenty of space between them.
“When it comes to social distancing, we just need to apply some common sense. Out walking in the fresh air and keeping a social distance is absolutely fine – being in a crowded pub full of people is just madness, and we all need to take some responsibility for other people.”
Bill admits it’s going to be an uncertain time for everyone over the coming months, but has some words of advice for company bosses.
“As a business, you always have to think outside the box, and always think ‘what if?’,” he said.
“In these situations, you’re forced to evolve and adapt, and that’s what a lot of businesses will have to do to get through the next few months.
“After the oil and gas crash five years ago, we were 100% oil and gas. We went into freefall. We had to evolve, so we went into new markets and started bidding for work in the nuclear, wind energy, subsea and civil constructions sectors.
“We re-invented ourselves, and some companies in this situation will have to do the same.
“It’s going to be a difficult time for some businesses and I feel for them. But I’d say try to stay calm.
“Within a period of time, it will be over. So business owners should use the time positively. While you’re not at work and running the company, think about what you can do better. Use it as an opportunity to look at the business, take a step back, look at the way you run things. Can you do that better? Can you do something different?
“But I do feel for those who’ll find business or life generally difficult, and I wish everyone every success in getting through this.”